Posts Tagged ‘wine tasting’

Palex and Tanya organized an M-themed DGS at my place last night. We didn’t quite get the theme, given that one of the hosts, Tanya, forgot to wear a themed shirt. Haha. But we did have quite a few M-named bottles of wine, Marinated chicken wings, Melon, pasta Marina, and we played the Moon game.

The wine list for the evening were, in order:
(1) 2007 Brown Brothers Moscato: simple, sweet – maybe a little too sweet

(2) 2005 Mischief & Mayhem Chablis: think would be better as a food drink. Perhaps something creamy. Wasn’t a huge fan; found the finish a little too minerally, slightly bitter? Janice and Paul said it reminded them of sparkling water, tonic.

(3) 2007 Lawson’s Dry Hill Malborough Gewürztraminer: It was on sale at Denise for $30. What a steal; need to lay my hands on it. Paul loved it too; in fact everyone loved it. How can one not like the incredible nose of lychee and rose petals. I wish I could wear it as a perfume.

(4) 2002 Meursault Vieilles Vignes: Second favorite white of the evening. Beautiful citrus, bright and lively to drink. Some nuttiness in the back.

(5) 2004 Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits: I didn’t finish my glass. Wasn’t impressed by the nose, which was metallic. And the body was weak. Kind of a lame wine. I totally miss that De Bortoli Pinot Noir 2007 from Yarra Valley I had last week. Now, that was good pinot.

(6) 2006 Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz: I’ve had this one before, a couple times. Two Hands makes fun wines (and after last night, somehow associated with sea cucumbers). This one was good. Nice and deep color, lots of fruit. Also makes a good standalone drink.

(7) 2006 Two-Hands Lily’s Garden Shiraz: beautiful – intense color, nose, amazing fruit, concentrated raisins, and super smooth. Favorite wine of the evening. Excellent to drink alone.

(8) 2008 Villa M D’uva Rosso: Fun to cap off the selection of wines with two fun and light dessert wines. The Villa M series.

(9) 2008 Villa M D’uva Blanco

The 51 items that we said we’ll bring to the Moon were: Hot Dog, Refrigerator, Magnet, Moscato, Glass, Trap, Compass, Camera, Iguana, Slippers, Pontianak, Garlic, Whip, Orchid, Aircon Remote Controller, Chandelier, Handcuffs, French Maid Costume, Duckling, Staircase, Bunny Ears , Disposible Underwear, Charcoal Pills, Bunny Tail, Nose Ring, Mushroom, Koi, Luohan Fish, Tau Sar Pau, Harns Handphone, Headless Chicken, Cryogenic Chamber, Chaw Siew Pau, Diamond Ring, Microwave Oven, Avocado Pill, Blindfold, Kinky Batteries, Wasabi, Macho Man, Chao Ah Lian, Viagra, Solar Cell, Brownies, Candle, Chao Ah Beng, Monsoon, Screams of Joy, Handpump, Massage Chair, and Painted Toenails


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DGS Singapore held another tasting this past Sunday. Fabian and Zhongxi hosted the event at my place, and they had a spread of beef stew, pasta, BBQ ribs, roast chicken etc. 🙂

All but one of the seven wines they had sourced from their separate trips to Margaret River and Yarra Valley in Australia. Their aim of the tasting was to try wines from the lesser known regions of Australia, since most of the Australian wines that I’ve seen in Chicago and Singapore are sourced from Barossa Valley (or at least, the ones on my radar screen).

For more information on the various wine regions of Australia, Australia Wine Region Map is a pretty nifty site that even maps out the various vineyards in the different regions – super useful for planning a road trip to Australia (yes, there could be one in the works)!

By an odd coincidence, we ended up with 5 whites and only 2 reds. Not that anyone was really complaining; it was still a very fun evening of easy conversation and laughter (not bad for a group of random folks most of whom met one another for the first time).

The wines we had (in sequence) were:

Pitchfork Sémillion Sauvignon Blanc 08 (Margaret River) – We didn’t have this chilled enough, but the wine was still nice and refreshing, with the grassy notes of the SB, softened by the Semillion
De Beaurepaire Captain Starlight Sémillion Sauvignon Blanc 06 (Mudgee) – With a 90% Semillion blend, you could definitely taste the sweetness; the crispness of the SB doesn’t quite cut through. Personally, I would rather the Pitchfork
Domain Chandon Barrel Selection Chardonnay 06 (Yarra Valley)
Green Point Cellar Door Viognier 07 (Yarra Valley) – Not my favorite example of the viognier. The nose was muted, and it wasn’t lively enough. The Viognier from Virginia that I had at last weekend’s DGS Chicago was much, much tastier.
Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 07 (Margaret River) – Nice and bright, with notes of pineapples and pears
Rochford Reserve Shiraz (Yarra Valley) – My favorite wine of the evening, this Shiraz is blended with a touch of viognier. Loved the nose.
Clairault Cabernet Sauvignon 05 (Margaret River)

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I’ve really missed American wines, as well as my all-time favorite Sam’s Wines. Consequently, I was like a kid in a candy shop when Jeff and I went back to Sam’s last Friday to shop for a case of wines for our American Winolympics Tasting.

And it’s super gratifying too, when the wine store clerk is even more enthusiastic than you in recommending wines for your tasting. I love this guy – I always go look for him whenever I go into the store because I know he’ll have some fun stuff lined up. It’s not to say that every one of the wines he recommends is a winner – because we’ve had some where we were like, hmmmm – but his excitement is quite contagious. 🙂

Early bird special: Chloe Jeremy Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2006 – found this to be super concentrated and dark, with seemingly many layers that has yet to be revealed; would probably be good for a few more years yet. Velvety and spicy on the tongue.

From Chicago Spring 2009

#1 Gruet Blanc de Noirs Brut, New Mexico, NV
This was Aaron’s favorite white; who knew New Mexico makes such excellent sparkling wines???

#2 Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc, Columbia Valley, 2007
Bonny Doon of Santa Cruz makes some decent cheap Chenin Blanc!

#3 Hickory Creek Chardonnay Unoaked, Michigan, 2007
This was an excellent example of an unoaked Chardonnay. Most people correctly guessed that it was an unoaked Chardonnay, but everyone was surprised that it was from Michigan!

#4 Barboursville Vineyards Viognier, Virginia, 2007
I couldn’t for the life of me guess that this was a Viognier; I thought it was either a chardonnay (at first, for the heaviness) or a sauvignon blanc (for the grassy notes). Another wonderful surprise, from Virginia!

#5 River’s Edge Pinot Gris, Umpqua Valley, 2007

#1 Donata Family Sorelle Per Sempre, Central Coast, 2005

#2 Chateau Montalena Zinfandel, Napa Valley, 2005
Montalena is famous for its Cabernets (thanks to 1976), but this Zin showed quite well too

#3 Benessere “Costa del Sol”, Napa Valley, 2005
Napa gone wrong; this was acidic, tannic, and closed. Everyone guessed that it was either a Michigan or Illinois wine

#4 Lieb Family Cabernet Franc Bridge Lane, Long Island, NV

#5 Owl Creek Owl’s Leap, Illinois, NV
This was from Southern Illinois, and honestly quite tasty!

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Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut – $8.99


wwenhuang: For the $ this is a great deal. Dry, refreshing, with nice tight bubbles and a hint of sweetness.
aglassofwine: Simply put, Best Value; dry and crisp

Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut – $37.99

wwenhuang: This particular pour compared to the previous seemed to have more guts to it, a little bit more complexity and a mild yeastiness to it. I got hints of citrus as well. Its VERY drinkable, I looked down and to my despair the glass was empty.
aglassofwine: dry, crisp
Drappier Sendree Cuvee de Prestige Brut 2000 – $44.99

wwenhuang: Alas, I loved this one and its the most expensive! It surpassed most of the others in complexity. It started out with a tart sweetness and finished on a more savory note for me. I suspect depending on what you eat you could bring out a nuttiness in it as well.

aglassofwine: tinge of sweetness at the end; not as bony. Quite graceful

Gloria Ferrer Cuvee Royal Brut 1997 – $21.99

wwenhuang: The majority of our tasters felt that this was a particularly watery champagne and I would have to agree. It ended with a odd sourness and was mostly flat tartness.

Roederer Estate Brut – $44.99

wwenhuang: This is a very straight forward champagne, with less subtle flavors and more bold citrus and apple. The bubbles were less tight, but overall I would say this champagne rates as so-so in my book.

Chandon Brut – $12.99

wwenhuang: Dry, Crisp, drinkable, but nothing to swoon over.

Moet White Star Brut – $34.99

wwenhuang: This was a particularly good pour with a good level of dryness along with great complexity, yeast, and mild hint of sweetness. This is a nice classic rich champagne that has a good balance of fruit and mineral. It won over many of our tasters.

aglassofwine: Best of Tasting

Vollereaux Brut Rose – $26.99

wwenhuang: This was not what you would expect from a Rose. I found myself hoping someone would finish my glass for me so I would have more room for other bottles. It had a tartness and bitterness that did not compliment well with its bold fruitiness and watery texture.

aglassofwine: This was a disappointment; someone said it tasted like fruitilops (sp)

Mumm Napa Cuvee M – $15.99

wwenhuang: I enjoyed this bottle but to be honest the bubbles had gotten to my head by this point. I tasted some hints of citrus, apple, and yeast. The bubbles were not as fine as other pours and it was not an interesting drink compared to most others. All in all I would say this is drinkable, but forgettable.

Vietti Moscato d’Asti 2006 – $11.99

wwenhuang: Typical of an asti this is a sweet, floral, fruity wine that is reminiscent of biting into a ripe peach and apple all at once. The nose is to die for, if only I could distill it into perfume form. A completely different animal compared to champagne, this is dessert to the very end.
aglassofwine: This is a simple, easy to drink sparkling wine. Yet, it had the best nose of ALL the tastings. Floral. Fun, happy drink. One of my favorites of the tasting, because of its distinct aromas.

Shooting Star Bubbles – $16.99

wwenhuang: This was an interesting red sparkling. Just by virtue of being a sparkling syrah, it has kind of a spicy, fruitiness to it. However, the finish is quite tart and can be bitter. I much rather prefer the other sparklings to this one.

wwenhuang: In summary, champagne is not necessary my forte either, but I do have to say that with the right pairing it could give many good wines a run for their money. The bubbles to get to your head quicker, and it’s so fun to drink. I would love to do this again with specific pairings, the flavors can be so subtle that the right food could really create a new experience.

aglassofwine: I can’t say for Wendy, but personally, I’m not a champagne girl. Give me still wine anytime. I’m all about the nose, and I just couldn’t get enough of it with the champagnes. Maybe, someone ought to teach me how to appreciate the bubbles… Nonetheless, I had an superbly enjoyable time. Good food (egg lasagna, crossaints, whole leg of ham, salad, bowls of fresh fruit), great company. 🙂

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